Aldermen: Oak Hill needs fire line, hydrants

Published 2:10 pm Saturday, January 6, 2024

A “fire loop” is needed in a Brookhaven subdivision, according to city officials.

“Running a fire line into Oak Hill has been discussed several times,” WGK engineer Mike McKenzie said at the first Board of Aldermen meeting of 2024.

The subdivision has no city water or sewer service, operating instead on privately-owned systems in place prior to its incorporation into the municipality. If the Brookhaven Fire Department needs to respond to a fire on Oak Hill Drive, it is unable to access hydrants to keep water supplied, because no hydrants exist — as well as no water line — along the one-mile road.

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Installation of a fire loop water line and hydrants will allow the city to provide better fire safety services for the citizens who live in the subdivision and its few side roads.

Mayor Joe Cox said legal issues between the city and the Oak Hill homeowners’ board had been settled, so now was the time to get the project done.

“Does the board want to consider it?” McKenzie asked. “You’re going to be right at $300,000 for the whole thing, with the line to dead end in the cul-de-sac.”

Oak Hill Drive extends west from Natchez Drive for one-half mile before turning north to run another half-mile to the cul-de-sac at its end.

McKenzie said the line could also be extended further north approximately 700 feet to tie in to the line at Zetus Road, providing a closed loop for water. A closed loop increases the water pressure and would be a better option long-term, he said.

“That would extend (the cost) to $450,000-$500,000.”

Either way, McKenzie said something is better than nothing.

“Is a dead-end line the best option? No. But is it better than nothing? Absolutely,” he said.

“We need to do this,” Cox said. “We need fire hydrants out there.”

The board voted unanimously to move ahead with planning of the project.


In other business:

• The board approved a second and final payment to Greenbriar Digging Services for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport new apron project, in the amount of $22,646.80. The funds are fully reimbursable through a Federal Aviation Administration grant.

• Approved a promotion for Street Department Operator/Crew Leader Adarien Tillman to City-wide Auto Mechanic, with an increase from $15 to $19 hourly, effective Jan. 1.

• Approved the hire of Gerald Dickey as a Solid Waste Department operator at $15 hourly, pending drug test and physical.

• Awarded the off-road diesel bid to RB Wall at $2.74 per gallon.

• Accepted the state-approved 2024 mileage reimbursement amount of $0.57 per mile.

• Approved Juneteenth (June 19) as a paid holiday for the City.